A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold, and the Lord is a tester of hearts.
The crucible and smelter were small clay vessels in which metals were melted at very high temperatures to refine them. To be tested is to be evaluated to see if something is genuine. The process of testing can bring about purification.
I hear God saying to me, “It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t do a million things for Me as much as it matters to Me that I have your heart. That’s what I really want.”
Scripture, I believe, is best read on the spiritual level, or heart level. Don’t get me wrong, I do think good, solid Bible study has its very rightful place, to keep us from going too wacky with it, yet missing the heart of God in Scripture is detrimental to our growth as human beings made in God’s very image. I try to ask myself every verse I read, “What is God the Holy Spirit [ the Author] saying to me thru this?” What is He saying to my heart?
Please note this is different than “What does this mean to me?” That’s when you can easily venture into some dangerous territory, e.g. “I don’t think Jesus really rose from the dead, people just saw visions of Him because they were so distraught and wanting to see Him.” Just a little elementary study of Scripture will show clearly that that’s not what the evangelists who wrote the gospel accounts were trying to convey. Asking “What is God saying to me thru this Scripture?” is a quite different approach and mindset. In this posture, you are open, willing to hear from God, and ready to obey what He may present to you, as opposed to just thinking about what something might or could mean–there’s plenty of scholarly McScholartans out there for that!
“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life…If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The light refers to God’s revelation, or disclosure, of Himself in the incarnation. Jesus was the perfect revelation of God, our Creator. Waking up to this heavy reality takes us out of sleep walking thru life and into the truth, and therefore, freedom. Freedom because you no longer have to grasp for the meaning of life, stumbling around in the dark, in danger of stepping on Lego pieces which hurts like hell! (OK, I’m alright now, just had a flashback.) The light is there for you, and turning towards it is as simple as flipping a switch on the wall. Just turn around.
Reminds me of the time I went canoeing on a youth trip. As many of you know, I’m quite hydrophobic, and as fate would have it, my worst nightmare did in fact occur–the canoe tipped over. I was flailing about like an octopus on speed, struggling to get above the water and breathe when my buddy Todd said, “Just stand up!” I was in about three feet of water. “Oh, right. I’m OK now.”
So simple, and we make it so difficult.
What if God’s essence actually walked the earth in the form of a human being for thirty-some years at a definite point in history? If that is really true, are we not obligated in the most profound sense to pay the utmost attention to this “man”? Not only His life on earth, but His Spirit now?
There is no reason whatsoever to stumble thru life anymore, wondering what we should be doing, how we should be living. The light has been revealed and is to be followed. THEN the path is made clear, guaranteed, because it is God’s promise, and from what I understand, He never ever lies ever ever.
See Proverbs 3:5-6 also.